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Operating under the jurisdiction and control of the Board of Public Utilities, the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is a customer service oriented municipal utility that provides electric, gas, water and sewer services for County residents and businesses and provides wholesale electric and water services to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

ELECTRIC

ELECTRIC PRODUCTION & SUPPLY
In 1985 the DPU and the Department of Energy formed a power pool through an Electric Coordination Agreement (ECA). This allowed the two entities to blend resources. Los Alamos County's resources under the ECA are as follows:

  • San Juan Generating Station Unit 4 (coal, 36 megawatts)
  • Laramie River Station entitlement (coal, 10 megawatts)
  • El Vado hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 8 megawatts)
  • Abiquiu hydroelectric facility (renewable hydropower, 18 megawatts)
  • Los Alamos' Western Area Power Administration entitlement (renewable hydropower, 1 megawatt)
  • Photovoltaic array on East Jemez landfill site (renewable solar, 1 megawatt)
  • County transmission arrangements
  • County purchased power contracts.

ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION
Los Alamos County's electric distribution network provides power to more than 8,500 ratepayers. Departmental priorities for maintenance and enhancements are assessed regularly. While no utility provider can ever guarantee that power will never be uninterrupted, the DPU’s goal is to keep outages to less than the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) for communities of our size as determined by the American Public Power Association. The APPA index for average, accumulated down time for a year that a customer could expect is 60 minutes. To realize this goal, the DPU developed an Electric Reliability Plan (developed in 2011 and updated regularly, most recently in 2014) based on data collected in a condition assessment report and continuing system inspections.

GAS

The Los Alamos natural gas distribution system includes 102 miles of mainline gas pipe, 41 miles of service lines, and 18 pressure regulating stations. The system is maintained to meet strict regulations of the Department of Transportation, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Safety Administration. Natural gas is purchased by both long-term and short-term contracts at market hub, then transported to Los Alamos by a pipeline operator for distribution. Long-term gas contracts are in place for price stabilization, including a gas pre-pay arrangement with the New Mexico Municipal Energy Acquisition Authority, through which annual savings may passed on to our customers.

WATER

The DPU produces and distributes drinking water to more than 7,000 customers in Los Alamos townsite, White Rock, Bandelier National Monument and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The system includes 12 production wells, 17 pumping stations, 30 million gallons of water storage, 4 disinfection facilities, the Los Alamos Canyon Dam, 118 miles of water distribution piping, 44 miles of water transmission lines and valves, and pressure regulating valves. The water source for Los Alamos comes from groundwater from the main aquifer under the Pajarito Plateau. Our system has wellhead protection in place and we treat the water with a MIOX purification system. Total water rights available to the water production system as determined by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer amount to 5,541.3 acre-feet/year. Additionally, Los Alamos has a contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation for 1,200 acre-feet of water per year from the San Juan/Chama transmountain diversion project. The San Juan/Chama surface water has never been used in Los Alamos.

SEWER

The DPU wastewater collection and treatment systems include 150 miles of wastewater collection mains, 27 lift stations, and a biosolids composting facility. The DPU operates two Wastewater Treatment Plants: one in Los Alamos Canyon, which processes Los Alamos townsite sewage and wastewater, and the other in White Rock (near Overlook Park), which processes White Rock sewage and wastewater. The state-of-the-art Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pueblo Canyon was completed in 2007.

CUSTOMER CARE CENTER

The DPU operates the County’s Customer Care Center, which serves as a one-stop-shop for information on general County activities and services, in addition to providing DPU billing and collection services. Located at the County Municipal Building, Customer Care agents are available during normal business hours to answer questions, provide information and offer support by scheduling crews to respond to routine maintenance and/or emergency utility needs. For more information about services offered, please visit the Customer Care Center website.